Another of the club’s fine juniors, an athlete who already will shortly be celebrating her 10th anniversary of being a Clonliffe Harrier, some may say it seems longer!
Bio: I’m Aoife Hession ,17 and currently in 5th year in Dominican college. I am mainly a middledistance athlete primarly 1500m or 3000m.
What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? I think I was about 8 years old when I first set my eyes on the fabulous Gladys Cooper. I was never any good at team sports ask any of my friends. I somehow manage to either get hit in the face with a ball or it magically slipped out of my hands .I’m sure I was the reason for a lot of defeats in either rounders or bench ball in school due to my inability to catch a ball and KEEP it in my hands. My brother and sister were also apart of Clonliffe so I just came up one night and the rest is history.
What is your favourite training workout? I think I like the most hated workout which is 1km reps. I really enjoy the distance and like how its not very speedy because I very much dislike that sort of thing.
And your least favourite? This is a tough one because there are a lot! But would have to say 800m reps, everything about them is a no from me.
What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? I really enjoy any of the school’s cross-country races. Although we could all be on different teams we still always support and encourage our fellow Clonliffe teammates. I will never forget running in a schools xc race in Santry and hearing Evan Foster encouraging me all the way up the hill. I was zoning out by the walled garden but he put me back in the race and reminded me of the main objective. Not going to lie it really scared me at the time though.
What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) I think my proudest moment would have to be when I won a silver medal in the 3000m in 2018.What made it even better was the fact I didn’t even know I had gotten one due to two age groups being mixed together.
What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? I have actually been very lucky with injuries I have never really gotten anything serious. It must be my handy Asics! I think it was around this time last year I just had a slight injury in my hip but after doing stretches given by the physio I was back in action. I’m sure Noel was heartbroken when I was missing for 2 weeks.
(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? Noel is going to tell me to take my own advice on this one but you should always have confidence in your abilities to perform well. If you have the mindset I can’t do an extra 400m rep when the coach asks then you wont do it therefore you’re not pushing yourself.As hard as it can be to say yes Noel I’ll do that extra 400m even though you know it will be hard. After you feel like you have achieved something higher than yourself. That way you know for next time I’m well able to keep going and with that confidence you can exceed your expectations. I would like to think I have this mindset but that is in fact not the case
Do you have any memorable or funny story from Clonliffe Harriers that you could share? (the censorship board may review!) In Seville when we were sitting in one of the rooms, I told story to everyone trying to convince them that my kettle at home was haunted and wanted tea. I said that whenever I said “do you want tea” to the kettle it would turn on. They all just laughed and thought is this girl okay? I did drive Alana Fitzimons insane when we got back to the room later that night and I hid the kettle in the wardrobe because I thought it looked scary.
What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition I usually have the typical chicken and pasta B. Outside competition I love Chinese food, so I make a banging fried rice doused in soy sauce
Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish My sporting heroes would be no one but my teammates (Sarah, Alana and Abbie) they help make long runs bearable. Their incredible vocal cords that can be heard throughout the phoenix park on an 85 minute run is what makes them an inspiration to me. B. International Dina Asher Smith although I am not a sprinter she is always smiling when she comes out onto the track and even if she has a bad race which is very rare, she takes the positives out of the experience.
What’s your favourite…? A. Film I genuinely have no idea but I do like horror movies but that night going to bed is terrifying. B. Song or Album This is cruel I can’t pick but I am a big fan of the Arctic monkeys and the odd bit of girls aloud because I think they are superior to the spice girls C. Book I wouldn’t be much of a reader and there has never really been a book that has stood out to me, but the Mr men books are forever ingrained into my memory. You may be wondering why Mr Men but think about they’re easy to read, easy storyline and of course a range of characters to choose from. What’s not to love!!
What’s your favourite holiday destination? Tavira, Portugal. The man selling doughnuts on the beach is what makes this place stand out to me.
What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I honestly don’t know, like many of us running is a major part of our lives but I enjoy going on cycles with my friends and chatting about anything and everything.
If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? I would enforce stricter rules around doping in the sport because I feel too many athletes get caught on a number of occasions but are still respected so highly in the sport.
How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Funniest person alive
What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) I would like to improve my 5k time along with getting a pb in the 1500
How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? By keeping in contact with friends helped because you were able to discuss the training and encourage each other to go out and do what needed to be done whether it was a 50-minute run or just core and stretching.